While your class blog serves as a hub for the online community of your class as well as a great starting point for getting your students into blogging, creating separate student blogs mark an important stage in progression. Once your students have had a few months to get used to the class blog by publishing posts and comments on it, rewarding them with their own blogs provides a great deal of potential. Setting up separate blogs for your most valuable participants will help to motivate them greatly, while also providing more content to share with the class and the greater audience.
How to Set Up Blogs for Your Students
There’s no limitation to the number of free blogs you can set up at wordpress.com. The first thing to do is choose usernames and URLs for your student blogs, and one of the best practices is to use the student’s first name followed by a number which represents their class year. Although for the most part, these individual blogs will belong to your students themselves, you’ll still want to add yourself as administrator so that you can quickly edit or remove any unwanted or inappropriate posts or comments. To add both yourself and the individual student as an administrator, follow the steps outlined in Chapter 4, selecting the Administrator option when choosing a role.
Moderating Comments on Your Student Blogs
Only those with Administrator or Editor roles may moderate comments. If you would rather not give your students the responsibility of moderating the comments for themselves at this stage, then you’ll need to choose the Author role for them. The Author role will allow them to write and publish their own posts, but they will not be able to approve comments or make any modifications to the blog itself. If you are comfortable with allowing your students to moderate their own comments and have complete control over their blogs by having their own administrator accounts, you may want to consider using an RSS reader so that you will be alerted of new posts and comments whenever they are published. See Chapter 8 for more information on using RSS feeds.